WGBH is conducting research and testing an innovative science magazine television series dedicated to the public understanding of research. The show will present both breaking research news and reports on underlying trends and issues in science. It will also feature stories that follow experiments or lab work over extended periods, profiles of scientists, stories of invention and discovery, and more purely entertaining items. The project places strong emphasis on a collaborative approach with other media developers, notably web and museum exhibit designers, to deepen the impact of the show beyond its immediate broadcast.
During the research phase, WGBH will convene a group of scientists, informal educators and other potential collaborators to investigate the parameters involved in a collaborative approach. They also will produce and test sample program segments to determine what formats may be most effective. In addition, WGBH will begin looking for on-camera talent who has the knowledge and presentation ability to carry such a program. The questions that will be examined in the research phase include:
how research and production efforts can be coordinated across different media, how facilities and infrastructure might be shared among different organizations providing public information about research, how the new television format might be customized to allow local television stations and science centers to link it with local events, and what formats may be most effective in engaging the public, holding their interest over multiple programs, and conveying substantive information about research.